Smart Games on Straps is a project I’m hoping to start soon in Honolulu, Hawaii based on the game-based learning programs that I introduced through a non-profit called Quality Life NGO at senior recreation centers in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. There, we gave seniors board and card games to play with that encouraged intellectual stimulation, social interaction, friendly competition, and community building. These board games were a major portion of our daily programs and were a favorite among our attendees.
I’d like to start up a mobile version here on Oahu where I and/or other volunteers would take board games in backpacks (hence, Smart Games on Straps) to various community centers, nursing homes, schools, and other places and teach people how to play them and play with them. Board games are highly valuable learning tools that I use myself to develop math/reading/recall skills with my children from 6 to 18 years old. Making use of board games’ portability to make them accessible to different groups of people on a regular basis would open people up to learning and building real relationships outside of traditional school/formal programs.
Most of the games I use are from Korea, which makes these games unique from typical board/card games common in America. They test speed, critical thinking, math, and other important factors in intellectual building. More than that though, they’re fun! People genuinely enjoy playing them and it is a great way to meet new people and make friends.
Our goal with this project is to unite communities and bring to them the simply joy of learning that these games provide. I think that games are really valuable tools for teaching and team building, and having an arsenal of high-quality, well-crafted board games made mobile by backpacks and passionate volunteers would offer a significant contribution to the community of Oahu.
Funded by Oahu, HI (December 2018)